One of the best things about 5th graders is their ability to adapt to a new situation and make it theirs in a heartbeat. AND I love using that to my advantage when it comes to setting up the classroom.
This year, I couldn’t get in to set up my room as early as I might have liked, so that meant that several jobs went unfinished before the students arrived. One of those jobs was labeling the library. (Which I of course leave to the last minute every year, but this year I just flat ran out of time.) Instead of freak out and stay at school until midnight, I decided to see if the 5th graders could give me a hand finishing up the library labeling task.
On the first day of school, I explained the situation to them and asked them if they could help. It was the first day of school, SO they said yes. They were still trying to get me to like them. (Spoiler alert: I already liked them!)
They put themselves into groups of 3 and pulled an unlabeled bucket off the shelf. I asked them to peruse the contents and decide what an appropriate label would be. They looked at titles, authors, series, and topics to decide what the label needed to say.
Once a decision was made, each group created a label from a 3X5 index card and we stuck it on the outside with book tape. To get every bin labeled only took about 35 minutes! Once they were done with a bucket, they grabbed another one and repeated the process.
In most cases, they were spot on with their descriptions and it has already saved me a ton of time and sanity when it comes to my massive amount of books. Not to mention, their labels are cute and unique and made by THEM! They have taken ownership of that part of our classroom already. YAY for 5th grade capabilities!
This will definitely be a first day of school activity for my classes in the future! How about you? What’s your favorite first day of school activity?